February 24, 2018, 11:02 pm
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Not a bonafide staffer unless…

Having served Malaya for some eight years  (between August 1998 and September 2006), you can only consider yourself a bonafide staffer of the paper only if you managed to experience the following:

- Being asked to contribute an ID-sized picture for Ate Che Francisco’s personal rogues gallery which if I remember correctly is placed beneath the glass covering of her table. All former and present day-reporters can have themselves immortalized by complying with this tradition which Ate Che initiated during the paper’s first year.

- Editor-in-chief Enrique Pocholo Romualdez’s “60 percent” joke, a long-running gag where Sir Pocholo will deliberately ask a newbie reporter upon receiving his first paycheck in Malaya for his share. Questions and reactions, on the joke, vary from journalist to journalist but in my case, Sir Pocholo said his “60 percent” was for making my stories more readable.

- Having the publisher, the late Amado “Sir Jake” Macasaet call you up regarding some details or facts on your stories.   An experience definitely feared by all newbies.  During my time in Malaya, the idea of giving just one wrong answer to Sir Jake, is nightmarish. Your career in journalism will be deader than a doornail if you do.

- Being interrogated by the late editor-in-chief, Sir Joy Delos Reyes, and getting bawled out if your facts are crossed or wrong. A lot of us newbies cowered in fear when experiencing this the first time.  Also, the fact that Sir Joy had this habit of putting down the phone without any warning after getting the details he wanted proved disconcerting to many reporters.  
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